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Continued pain after spine surgery

I feel like I never recovered from my back surgery two years ago. I've been hurting almost every day since the surgery on one level or another, or in one place or another. I kept thinking it would stop eventually, but it hasn't. I have one spot that is almost guaranteed to hurt every day. It's the spot that hurt pre surgery. The other pain is all over the place. Could be the right side, could burn, could be higher up on my spine, my hips have hurt, my groin,... The list goes on. Now, I'm back to sciatica in my left leg. I've spent so much time having various doctors look at my records or run tests. I'm sick of the whole ordeal. Last week I received two SI joint injections because the doc thinks pain is coming from the SI joint. It didn't work. I'm not sure what to do next, but I'm very hesitant to introduce another doctor at this point.


  • I have had 4 fusions. the first one was great except for the disc above the fusion became unstable and that herniated, they tried a lamanectomy but it did not work then they did a fusion. i have never recovered from that fusion and the disc broke and they had to correct it and refuse it last year. unfortunately spine surgery is a crap shoot. the general rule is 1/3 get better, 1/3 stay the same and 1/3 get worse. it took me a year to recover from my first.i had t wear a brace for 9 months and could not lift over 5 lbs. as of today my right leg has gotten worse, cellelitus infections, swelling, chronic pain and on and on. one has to overcome all of this and i do by working and doing all of the things that i can. i use a cane and see a pain dr whom i have seen for 12 years. i feel your pain. i try not to complain to family and work and do live and work the best i can.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I am sorry you are in pain and not feeling well
    Having a " BAD BACK" I truly feel is a chronic problem with good and bad days

    I was dissapointed to read that your S I Joint Injections did not work because I am having my first one on Valentines Day

    Did anyone suggest Facet Joint Injections?

    God bless

  • Jon, you are right. Spine surgery is a guessing game. My internist told me that back surgery generally does not resolve pain. I wish I had of been going to him during the time I had the surgery. I might not of had it. I think any time you go into that area of your body, you are asking for problems. I wish my spine surgeon would of let me know what I was in for...he had to know.
  • Hi Rose. I just met the doc that did the SI joint injections, I actually had two. The doc didn't use sedation and I wasn't happy about that, but went thru with the procedure anyway. We didn't discuss facet joint injections. I'm scheduled to go back to see him mid Feb. Also, I had sciatica after the injections. It's been in my left calf and foot off and on since last week. I have had this happen before with epidural steroid injections, but can find any information about this topic on line.
  • Rose, please don't be discouraged. The injections did provide some relief. They just haven't totally stopped my pain which is what I had hoped would happen. Then I started getting the sciatica a couple of days later. I think I could have a couple of problems going on at the same time. Maybe I'm expecting too much. This has been going on for over two years so I'm very frustrated.
  • I had doubts as to the decision I made not to have surgery. I am beginning to think I made the right choice. I have had two MRI s over the past two years due to worsening back pain and disability. I have lateral and core stenosis through L3-S1 I have less serious stenosis further up. I have arthritis and DDD. Plus other things I don't understand. One consultant said he could possibly operate but thought with all that is wrong in my back he could in no way predict the outcome. He also said any surgery would take at the very least a year to recover from. He was not encouraging. The other consultant said with all that is wrong with your back 'whatever you do stay away from the man with the sharp knife.'
    I am a young 74, retired and generally in fine fettle apart from my back. I am now registered disabled use a power chair for any distance greater than a few yards. Fortunately we lead a quiet life we are not over keen on holidays abroad etc.
    I take Neurontin backed up with Tramadol to try and keep the pain within limits. I count myself lucky in that I developed these awful problems relatively late in life. What it must be like for those of you younger I can only imagine.
    I read your posts and really feel for you.
    This site has helped me keep things in proportion. Best wishes and heartfelt thanks to Ron, Sandi, Liz and everyone.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    Thank you very much.
    All of us really believe in this site.

    Best wishes to you and keep your positive outlook
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Sallie1955SSallie1955 Posts: 11
    edited 01/30/2014 - 4:00 PM
    I appreciate your comments about having the back problems later in life. I feel the same way. You are right, the site does help keep things in proportion. Is also nice to have some support from people who have similar problems. Now that I'm using it I might do less complaining to my friends and family.
  • I could have written your post ...I had a ALIF fusion just over 2 years ago {this was my 3rd operation} I know what you mean I too have not got any better ..in fact I think I have got worse and today friday 31 jan 2014 I have to go for a fresh MRI } as my consultant is worried about my level of pain and the fact that both my legs and feet have been swelling up since the ALIF and I had a fall a few months ago and I have gone even further downhill since that ..so you're not on your own ..my advice would be to keep yourself as comfy as possible ..my favorite friend is my rise and recline recliner its the only thing that I can sit/lay on back pain is awful and unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a cure .I also take a lot of meds to keep from screaming in pain ..when did you last have a consultation with your doctor ?? maybe you need to ??
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • It sounds like you have been through a lot. I do not think I would have another back surgery unless it was a medical emergency. I can only imagine the pain you have suffered from multiple surgeries. I can't imagine that you could have a fourth surgery for your back. Are you working? I have had a hard time working off and on because of these pain flair ups. Especially if I don't rest well. I'm going to see my dr on Tuesday. My current issue is that I woke up yesterday with a burning pain in my butt. I've had this off and on so it's not the first time. It's just perplexing because I have no idea what caused it to start. It's so frustrating. I hope you have a comfortable day.
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